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How to discover your core needs and do what you love

October 8, 2011 - Professional Development

Make It WorkI had the pleasure of attending career development training yesterday, based on the book Make It Work: Navigate Your Career Without Leaving Your Organization.  Obviously, the organization I work for has some motivation for providing this training, but above and beyond all that, the day was truly inspiring (thank you Joe and Bill).

One of the unique exercises we did was discover our “core needs.”  Of course, we started with what our passions are… what we love to do.  But the point they got across was that we don’t have to be doing these exact activities to still fulfill the core needs our specific passions fulfill.

For example, my passions are:

  • Working with new enterprise technologies
  • Writing
  • Public speaking
  • Learning

But then we were asked to look behind those passions.  What core needs are those passions fulfilling?  If we were to distill our passions down to their most basic components, what would we find?  So, as another example, my core needs ended up being:

  • Continuous learning
  • Teaching
  • Striving for excellence through technology

From that point, our career options completely opened up in front of us.  Joe and Bill turned around our perceptions that we have to strive for a specific title or level in the organization to find career success.  We have to strive for what we love to do, for a role that will fulfill our core needs, and that can take many different forms.

So I encourage you to think about what core needs are behind your specific passions, and use that to find the job you love.  Because when you’re passionate about your work, you’ll have found the true path to career wealth.

Steve Jobs at StanfordSteve Jobs speaking at Stanford on the importance of doing what you love (video)

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